Meet Kevin, a recent graduate from our TESOL Certificate….

Kevin TESOLDuring my junior year at Brooklyn College, I was offered an opportunity to travel to China to study abroad. The offer sparked my interest, not because of the main reasons why people want to travel, for example; food, adventure, etc., but mainly it was to learn about a new culture that I was unfamiliar with or lacked knowledge of. It wanted to understand and see the cultural similarities and differences I may have with someone on the other side of the planet. Seeing this was essentially an excellent opportunity for me. While I was there for a month traveling to multiple cities, we were able to meet with other college students from different universities.

During one of these visits, I had the chance to meet with students who had the same major as I did which was Creative Writing/English. We had one of the best discussions which were all essentially about books, writing styles, and aspirations. One of these students said something which was rather striking to me. Her name was Vanessa, a sophomore studying English. She mentioned on the side that her verbal English was poor compared to her friends. When it came to reading, she had wanted to read texts (a book, poem, play, etc.) in English, but was unable to fully understand them due to her lack of English language awareness. She can only understand the text in her own language, which she didn’t really prefer doing. Instead, she had preferred to read a certain book in its original language form, that being in English. After telling me this, she went on to say that she was surprised that a foreigner could fully understand what she was saying. Putting it in ESL terms, she may have been considered an advanced beginner.

After this conversation, I started to think about English as a subject more in-depth. Being a creative writing major, we focus mainly on creating stories based on poems, novels, and plays that we’ve read in class. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed doing this. Having the ability to be able to create your own story and sharing it with others was always something I knew I was talented in. When writing a dialogue for a certain character, the question arises in regard to how is the character expressing themselves verbally. When I think about English as a Second Language and Creative Writing, I see them both as a subject that allows us to express ourselves and to be able to be understood by everyone around us. When learning English as a second language, you’re doing it for various reasons: to be understood, to obtain a job, to become like every native English speaker, etc.

I believe the key purpose of learning English as a second language is to be understood. Much like in creative writing, we want the story we create to be understood by everyone. For the reasons why I decided to teach English as a second language and why I am so interested in it is simply because I want to help foreign speakers to be understood by everyday English speakers. Not only to be able to speak, but to also to be able to read and listen as well, regardless of what they might enjoy reading or listening to. Having this interest was due to my experiences while I was in China interacting with other students there. A note in which I would like to return the favor soon.

My time training at Rennert can be simply described as enriching. The skills that you learn during your training at Rennert are cemented for you to apply and effectively use in your class whether it be abroad or online. The training is intense where you will be teaching in front of actual ESL students. I wouldn’t let this make you feel nervous since the students you’ll be teaching are eager and excited to learn what you have planned for them. Not only that, but their interest in wanting to know and speak English makes the class that much more interesting since they share what their experiences are from their home. Whether they’re from Japan, Brazil, or Spain, they help bring ideas for you to manage your lesson as well as sharpen your skills as a teacher. The trainers are immensely experienced as well as knowledgeable in guiding you to becoming an effective ESL instructor wherever you intend on teaching. Their job search is also vast helping you find a job both internationally as well as at home. The staff is eager to help and assist you in advising and perfecting your resume to get you the job your searching for. If you’re someone who’s interested in teaching ESL internationally, I highly recommend training at Rennert to help jump-start you on your next adventure!

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